Shopify Fulfillment Network: Complete Guide

Table of Contents
shopify fulfillment network

Last Updated: April 2024

Embarking on the e-commerce journey with Shopify means navigating a world of possibilities. Among these, the Shopify Fulfillment Network stands out as a game-changer, streamlining your operations and enhancing customer satisfaction.

In 2024, Shopify will fulfill the needs of more than 700 million buyers, playing a pivotal role in global e-commerce with a contribution of $319 billion.

Dive into our comprehensive guide, where we unravel the ins and outs of this revolutionary network, empowering you to scale with ease and efficiency.

shopify fulfillment network

Shopify Fulfillment Network – Definition

The Shopify Fulfillment Network is a comprehensive, fast, easy, and affordable logistics solution offered by Shopify to streamline the shipping and delivery process for e-commerce businesses like yours.

Flexport is the official launch partner of Shopify. It’s a network of strategically located fulfillment centers that store, pack, and ship your products to customers worldwide.

Essentially, it means outsourcing your order fulfillment to Shopify, allowing you to focus on growing your business while they handle the nitty-gritty of shipping logistics.

This network aims to improve your efficiency and reduce shipping times, ensuring 2 and 3-day delivery within the US. Thereby enhancing customer satisfaction, it offers all crucial elements for the success of your online store.

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Shopify Fulfillment Network Pricing

First, you can start with the Shopify Fulfillment Network free trial and then continue to use it by paying $20/month for the first month.

During the free trial period, you can install the Shopify Fulfillment Network app for no extra charges and sync all the Flexport data with your store for free.

Flexport offers transparent and affordable pricing that gives you the flexibility of faster delivery at competitive pricing. Pricing is based on product dimensions, product weight, units per order, delivery speed, inventory, and others.

Shopify is currently giving an additional 10% discount on the first batch of inventory for first-time Flexport users.

If you want to calculate the costs by yourself, do it here. Let us now delve a little deeper into the variables that affect the Shopify fulfillment pricing structure.

Fulfillment Fees

The fulfillment fees for each day are included in your Shopify bill the following day. It includes:

    • Inbound receiving
    • Inventory forwarding
    • Pick and pack
    • Supplies
    • Transportation
    • Support

The charges for domestic fulfillment depend on the total units in an order and the billable weight of each item. Meanwhile, the international fulfillment charges do not include customs duties.

Storage Fee

The Shopify Fulfillment Network (SFN) charges a storage fee for every SKU containing units stored within its fulfillment network, every day. This fee depends on the following:

    • Dimensions – SKU’s length, width, and height.
    • Count – Number of units available in the inventory.
    • Calendar – Present month of the year.
    • Duration – Total number of days these SKUs have been in the inventory.
    • Please note all your storage fees are calculated daily and billed at the end of that calendar month. You’ll also find rates for storing items over extended periods or during specific seasons.

Domestic Return Fee

You’ll incur return fees for customer returns sent back to an SFN fulfillment center. Here are the types of fees that will apply to a return:

    • Processing fee – You’ll encounter a processing fee for each item included in a return.
    • Label fee – There is a label fee for returns sent to SFN.

The domestic return fee is also calculated on a daily basis.

Non-Compliant Inbound Pricing

If your inbound transfers don’t meet SFN requirements, you could face a non-compliance fee upon their arrival at an SFN fulfillment center. These fees cover the additional resources necessary to process your shipment, potentially causing delays in processing. Keep in mind, that billing occurs on a daily basis.

There are some fees for the additional resources required to process your shipment, which could result in delays.

Fee Type

Fee Description

Fee Amount

Non-scannable, missing, or incorrect barcodes

You’ll be charged a fee for each item without a correct and legible barcode.

$0.45 USD per unit

Inaccurate shipping plan quantities

Fees may apply if the shipment SKUs and quantities deviate from the information you provided during the inbound transfer.

$0.30 USD per unit

Non-scannable, missing, or duplicate labels

Charges apply for every non-scannable, missing, or duplicate box content label in an inbound shipment.

$1.75 USD per label

Shopify Fulfillment Network – Key Features

1. Strategic Fulfillment Centers

Shopify’s Fulfillment Network strategically places fulfillment centers across the country, ensuring faster delivery times and reduced shipping costs for your products.

2. Automated Order Processing

With Shopify’s Fulfillment Network, your orders are automatically processed and fulfilled, saving you time and allowing for seamless scaling of your business operations.

3. Real-Time Inventory Management

Gain complete visibility into your inventory levels with Shopify’s Fulfillment Network, enabling you to make informed decisions and prevent stockouts.

4. Custom Branded Packaging

Deliver a unique brand experience to your customers with custom-branded packaging options available through Shopify’s Fulfillment Network.

shopify fulfillment network
Source: avada.io

5. Easy Returns Management

Simplify the returns process with Shopify’s Fulfillment Network, offering efficient handling of customer returns and exchanges to enhance customer satisfaction.

6. Transparent Shipping Rates

Get access to competitive shipping rates and transparent pricing with Shopify’s Fulfillment Network, helping you optimize shipping costs and improve margins.

7. Scalable Infrastructure

Whether you’re a small business or a growing enterprise, Shopify’s Fulfillment Network offers a scalable infrastructure that adapts to your changing needs seamlessly.

8. Multiple Sales Channels

With Shopify’s Fulfillment Network, you can seamlessly connect your Shopify store to various sales channels using apps like Shopify Marketplace Connect. Through this integration, your imported orders seamlessly sync with Flexport, ensuring a smooth and efficient fulfillment process.

Whether you’re selling on your Shopify store, social media platforms, or other marketplaces, Shopify Fulfillment ensures a unified and efficient fulfillment process across multiple channels.

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Shopify Fulfillment Network – Pros & Cons

Here is a table outlining the pros and cons of Shopify Fulfillment Network:

ProsCons
1. Streamlined order processing1. Limited international reach
2. Faster delivery times2. Costly for small businesses
3. Real-time inventory management3. Minimum order requirements for some services
4. Custom branded packaging options4. Integration complexity for some sales channels
5. Easy returns management5. Additional fees for non-compliance
6. Transparent shipping rates 
7. Scalable infrastructure 

These points offer a snapshot of the advantages and disadvantages of using Shopify Fulfillment Network for your e-commerce business.

Also, read 5 Best Shopify Fulfillment Center Apps In 2024

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The Process of Shopify Fulfillment

Step 1: Discover Your Fulfillment Partner

To begin, you’ll need to find a suitable fulfillment partner for your business. Explore Shopify’s network of trusted fulfillment partners, accessible through the Shopify Fulfillment app, to discover the right fit for your needs.

Step 2: Secure Your Product Storage

Next, store your products in one of Shopify’s fulfillment centers. Simply send your inventory to the designated center, where it will be securely stored and ready for fulfillment when orders come in.

Step 3: Prepare Your Products for Shipping

Now, it’s time to pack your products for shipping. Shopify’s fulfillment centers will handle the packaging process for you, ensuring that each item is carefully packed and ready to be sent to your customers.

Step 4: Deliver to Your Customers

Finally, your products are ready to be shipped to your customers. Shopify’s Fulfillment Network will take care of the shipping process, ensuring timely and efficient delivery to your customers’ doorsteps.

Also, read Best Fulfillment Services For Shopify To Grow Your Business

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Three Easy Steps to Add Shopify Fulfillment Network to Your Store

Simply integrate Shopify Fulfillment Network into your store with a few easy steps.

Step 1: Determine Your Preferred Shipping Method

Start by making a decision on how you’d like to manage the shipping of your products. Whether you prefer to handle it internally, rely on external services, or combine both approaches, Shopify allows you the flexibility to choose.

Once you’ve added a product to your store, you can easily select the most suitable fulfillment method for each item, allowing for a mix of methods within a single order.

shopify fulfillment network setup
Source: avada.io

Step 2: Choose Between Manual or Automatic Order Processing

Consider whether you prefer to fulfill orders manually, where you handle each one individually, or automatically, letting Shopify take care of the process for you. By default, your store begins with manual processing, but you have the option to switch to automatic fulfillment if it aligns better with your needs.

shopify fulfillment network method
Source: avada.io

Step 3: Set Fulfillment Methods for Your Products

In the details of each product, select the appropriate fulfillment method for that item. Shopify provides a convenient bulk editor tool, allowing you to easily apply the same fulfillment method to multiple products simultaneously.

shopify fulfillment network vendor
Source: avada.io

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Shopify Fulfillment Network – Top Five Apps

1. Shopify Fulfillment Network

sfn

Rating – 2.3⭐

Pricing – Free to install; Additional charges may apply

This app seamlessly integrates with your Shopify store, providing access to a network of trusted fulfillment partners for efficient and reliable order processing and shipping. Streamline your operations and scale your business with ease using the Shopify Fulfillment Network.

Key Features

    • Real-Time Inventory Tracking: Track every order in real time to have the right updates on your inventory levels.
    • 24/7 Support Team: Get round-the-clock support with Shopify’s team, whenever you need it.

2. Accelpay Fulfillment

accelpay - sfn

Rating – 5⭐

Pricing – Free

Accelpay Fulfillment allows you to sell your alcohol brands directly to consumers legally and compliantly, ensuring a smooth and secure online sales experience.

Optimize your order fulfillment process effortlessly and for free with Accelpay Fulfillment. This streamlined solution is designed to enhance your shipping operations, ensuring efficient deliveries and happy customers.

Key Features

    • Nationwide Alcohol Fulfillment: Fulfill alcohol products to over 42 states.
    • Split Order Fulfillment: Split merchandise and alcohol orders to different fulfillment partners for easy order processing.

3. Gooten: Print on Demand

gooten shopify fulfillment network

Rating – 4.4⭐

Pricing – Free to install; Additional production and shipping charges apply

Effortlessly fulfill your print-on-demand orders with Gooten, a reliable app that handles printing, packaging, and shipping directly to your customers.

Key Features

    • Wide Product Range: Choose from a diverse selection of products to customize and sell, from apparel to home decor, expanding your offerings to customers.
    • Global Fulfillment Network: Benefit from Gooten’s worldwide network of printing partners, ensuring fast and efficient order processing and delivery for your customers.

4. Prodigi: Print on Demand

prodigi shopify fulfillment network

Rating – 4⭐

Pricing – Free to install; Pay for the sold item only

Elevate your print-on-demand experience with Prodigi, offering high-quality printing and seamless fulfillment services for your custom products, from artwork to delivery.

Key Features

    • Unlimited Stock: Prodigi efficiently handles your inventory so that you have unlimited stock available.
    • Automated Order Fulfillment: Enable automated order fulfillment or pause them to include personalized artwork, as per your requirements.

5. ShipBob Fulfillment

shopify fulfillment network shipbob

Rating – 4.2⭐

Pricing – Free to install; Some external charges apply

Simplify your fulfillment process with ShipBob, an all-in-one solution handling storage, packing, and shipping for swift and dependable order deliveries.

Key Features

    • Multi-Location Warehousing: Utilize ShipBob’s network of warehouses across the country for faster and cost-effective shipping to your customers.
    • Real-Time Order Tracking: Keep your customers informed with real-time tracking updates, allowing them to monitor their orders from shipment to delivery.

Also read 5 Best Shopify Custom Order Fulfillment Apps In 2024

shopify fulfillment network pricing

Last Words on Shopify Fulfillment Network

In the realm of e-commerce, the Shopify Fulfillment Network stands tall as your comprehensive solution for streamlined operations.

Because, the latest survey shows that 93% of customers prefer receiving proactive updates regarding their order shipments, from the brands.

And so, as you navigate the world of online retail, consider Saufter.io for 24/7 tracking of shipping delays and proactive customer support. Elevate your fulfillment game, delight customers, and propel your business to new heights with these powerful tools.

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